In the month of May there is always a lot of talk about what to do for our spouses on Mother’s Day. If you really want to do something special and actually meaningful – do this: commit to giving her Sundays off for the rest of your marriage.
The biggest problem I see my in counseling with couples these days is simply that people are too busy. Everyone is stressed and burnt out. This places a very big toll on our relationships. We are too tired for a decent sex life, we fight and quarrel due to sheer exhaustion, we eat on the run in an unhealthy manner, and often just don’t have time to communicate and plan properly. This is especially true when a husband and wife both work. It is usually the wife who is also doing double duty with domestic responsibilities hence our wives are simply exhausted and so it follows as above; no sex, no good home cooked meals, and no good time of talking.
I read an article in USA Today which described a town in California that was encouraging the voluntary elimination of all activities on Monday nights so that families could just be at home together; no church, no sports, no meetings, etc. The article also gave the quote that “people have lost the art of doing nothing”. Perhaps this is what your marriage needs – nothing!
When counseling overly time committed couples, I often wish I could stop our sessions and order them to take a nap. Come back and see me after you have slept for say, three days. In Kindergarten our teachers used to make us take naps. In the Ten Commandments, God does the same. He says that everyone needs one day a week to rest and honor Him. We respond restlessly, just like we tried to do on those mats in Kindergarten. This is probably the most blatantly ignored commandment. We can’t possibly follow this command because we are too busy. So, we never rest and our marriages suffer. What does that Commandment actually say? Deuteronomy 5:12-15 says:
12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day. (NIV, from Bible.com).
Notice that the above commandment is speaking to the man of the house. It is extolling him to get everyone and even the animals in line with the command. Today’s husband who wants to have a successful marriage would do well to do the same. Stop all work on Sunday (or one day a week), go to church together, worship God, read and pray together, relax and sleep. Tell the kids if you have them that mom will not be cooking, not chauffeuring, shopping or generally running around. If you are working couple – no business work for either of you until after sundown. This leaves time to do the things undone above. Amazing how God thought of that. He stated that He “rested” after His work of creation (see Genesis 2:1-3). Of course He didn’t need to rest; He was just setting a pattern for us to follow for our own good.
Taking your wife out on Mother’s Day or giving her the day off is actually a big rip-off. One day in 365 is not enough. One is seven is the plan. You both really need it. Make it happen and your marriage will improve – it’s a promise.